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CITY TRIBUNE

PBP’s kamikaze campaign crowns election of ‘firsts’

Dara Bradley

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One her bike . . . Cat Connolly arrives at the Galway West count centre. This was the first general election she reached a quota

Bradley Bytes – A Sort of Political Column with Dara Bradley 

Election 2020 threw up quite a few firsts in Galway West.
The constituency elected its first ever Shinner TD – Mairéad Farrell romped home with 14% of first preference votes. That means for the first time, Galway West is represented in Dáil Éireann by three women. Mervue’s Mairéad joins Catherine Connolly (Ind) and Hildegarde Naughton (FG), who were both returned. Forty-five years after the constituency’s first, and only other female TD, Máire Geoghegan Quinn broke the glass ceiling in a by-election win, Galway West is now the only constituency with a majority of women TDs.
Galway West elected three tall TDs in 2011 – Labour’s Derek Nolan, Fine Gael’s Seán Kyne (both 6ft 3” tall) and Brian Walsh (6ft). And Mairéad now has the distinction of being the first TD representing the constituency, who measured five-foot nothing. Or as Newstalk’s Seán Defoe put it: “Is Mairéad Farrell tiny or sitting down?”.
Cat Connolly became the first Galway West candidate to get an endorsement from veteran broadcaster and contrarian, Vincent Browne. The Claddagh Queen also broke 5,000 first preferences – by a long shot (5,439) – for the first time in this, her fourth General Election. On the 12th count, she reached the quota and had a surplus to redistribute for the first time ever.
Éamon Ó Cuív was the first – and only – Fianna Fáil candidate in this election who topped the poll in any of the 39 constituencies; and he was also the first FF TD who was subsequently elected to the first seat.
For first time ever, Labour’s share of the vote dipped below 3% in Galway West. Even at its previous lowest ebb in 1954 (3.1%), and again in 2016 when Derek Nolan lost a seat with just 5%, Labour always stayed about 3%. The ‘Red-Rose’ party had red faces as Níall McNelis polled just 2.6%.
But even that embarrassment paled into insignificance compared with the People Before Profit kamikaze campaign. Not only has it never happened in Galway West, but never before in the history of Irish elections has a political party issued a statement on polling day urging voters NOT to support their own candidate.
Most people planned not to vote for him anyway, but the PBP statement about Joe Loughnane was in response to a claim by his ex-partner – and Loughnane later confirmed and apologised – that he spat at her and smashed her smart-phone in an incident a year ago. It was Loughnane’s first general election – surely, it’s his last, too.

For more Bradley Bytes on Election 2020, see this week’s Galway City Tribune 

CITY TRIBUNE

Hero’s welcome following rescue of two women on Galway Bay

Stephen Corrigan

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Patrick Oliver and his son Morgan, who rescued Sara Feeney and Ellen Glynn off Inis Oirr island, on their arrival back at the Galway RNLI Lifeboat Station at Galway Docks. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The miraculous rescue on Galway Bay yesterday of two young women from Knocknacarra brought 15 long hours of searching to a euphoric conclusion, as cousins Sara Feeney (23) and Ellen Glynn (17) were brought safely to shore.

A major search and rescue operation was launched after the pair went missing from Furbo Beach on Wednesday night, when they were swept away by a sudden wind while paddle boarding.

Claddagh fisherman and former Lifeboat shore crew member Patrick Oliver and his 18-year-old son Morgan joined the search early on Thursday morning and were the heroes of the hour after they discovered the two women on their boards, clinging to a lobster pot about two miles south-west of Inis Oírr, where despite their ordeal, they were described as “ok, but shaken”.

In the face of torrential rain and high winds overnight, both women had drifted almost 20 miles out to sea, but amazingly neither required serious medical attention.

Sara’s mother, Helen Feeney, raised the alarm shortly after 9pm on Wednesday evening when she noticed the pair missing as she walked their dog along the shore.

Sara, a daughter of Helen and Bernard Tonge, and Ellen, daughter Deirdre and well-known former captain of Galway United Johnny Glynn, were both said to be in good spirits at the hospital yesterday afternoon.

One relative told the Galway City Tribune that the family was “utterly humbled by the generosity of people” who had took part in the search and said, “unbelievable doesn’t even begin to describe it”.

“Thank you from all the family to everyone who helped, words will never express our gratitude.”
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read it in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

Photo: Patrick Oliver and his son Morgan, who rescued Sara Feeney and Ellen Glynn off Inis Oirr island, on their arrival back at the Galway RNLI Lifeboat Station at Galway Docks. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway farm operators fall fowl of locals

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Neighbours of Mad Yolk Farm have asked Galway City Council to determine whether planning permission is required for a portable chicken coop earmarked for the land in Roscam.

This week, Mad Yolk Farm has indicated that it will be adding chickens to the site, which has already been the subject of planning enforcement by the local authority.

In a Facebook post, the operators said they are planning to rear organic chickens on site, with neighbours fearing as many as 450 birds in the chicken ‘caravan’.

“Our chicken caravan is now built and our beaked ladies will arrive in eight days. We’ll be moving the hens onto fresh grass each day and they’ll be free to forage for insects and take mud baths. They’ll be free to behave like a chicken should,” the business said on social media.

It has prompted a neighbour of the property to write the Council to formally ask for a declaration “whether the work/development described in the form is or is not development or is or is not exempted development under Section 5 of the Planning and Development Act”.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read it in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Cold water poured on Spanish Arch ‘bushing’ sprinkler plan

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Galway City Council has poured cold water on a suggestion that it should install water sprinklers to deter ‘bushing’ at city centre hotspots for outdoor drinking, such as Spanish Arch.

Councillor Eddie Hoare (FG) this week said the local authority should examine providing sprinklers, to deter bushing, after Spanish Arch and Middle Arch were packed with hundreds of revellers during the sunshine last weekend, and the areas were littered with alcohol bottles and cans.

Cllr Hoare said large crowds were prohibited from gathering outside due to Covid-19 social distancing guidelines, and if the partying continued “Galway will be the next county to be locked down”.

He said CCTV cameras should be installed at Spanish Arch and Middle Arch and added: “Galway City Council should consider installing sprinklers as a long-term solution.”

However, the City Council said it was not its intention to install sprinklers.

“It’s so hot at the moment, if you put out a sprinkler anywhere in Galway, people would just dance under it. We’re so unused to this muggy heat, that if you did that (installed sprinklers), on top of your 12-pack of Bacardi Breezers, or whatever it is young people drink these days, you’d have the biggest wet t-shirt competition this side of Ibiza – people would just dance under them. No, we have no plans for sprinklers,” remarked a City Council spokesperson.

He said the Council was unaware of a separate suggestion – announced by Mayor of Galway Mike Cubbard on social media – that certain city areas be exempted from the street drinking bylaws, to allow them to be monitored and controlled.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read it in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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